Khomas claimed as Damara ancestral land

14 September 2018 | Agriculture

A discussion paper for the country's second national land conference, slated for October, argues the notion that Damara ancestry is confined to areas around Khorixas, Uis, Okombahe and Sesfontein is flawed and a creation of the South African colonial administration.

The paper compiled by Karl Mudani ||Aribeb says the Damara, along with the San, lived in most of present-day central Namibia, before the arrival of the Bantu, Nama and Europeans.

||Aribeb emphasised the paper is his own initiative, as an independent professional.

He claims the Damara now find themselves on the fringes of Namibia after being forced off their land in the Khomas Region by the Nama and Ovaherero. In fact, according to him, this is exactly where the marginalisation of the Damara began.

||Aribeb said because of their suppression by the Nama and Ovaherero, the Damara were unable to stake out, lay claim or defend any piece of the land as exclusively theirs. In the same vein, he pointed out that colonial land dispossession had two game-changing consequences, which firstly resulted in the loss of Damara, Nama and Ovaherero ancestral land. Secondly, the expropriation of all land by the German administration brought about the notion of private land ownership, which completely replaced the indigenous communal land use system.

“This effectively marked the demise of pre-colonial flexible resources-use systems characterised by seasonal movement and migrations. Lastly, the affected indigenous communities become de facto trespassers on their own land virtually overnight,” he said.





||Aribeb said despite the academic and scientific debates about the origin of the Damara, Namibia is the only home they have always known.

“It is a fact of Namibian history that the Damara lived through a period of extreme torture at the hands of the Nama and Ovaherero, virtually until the advent of the German colonial administration. The German administration progressively put an effective end to intertribal wars and atrocities, done through peace treaties, protection treaties and harsh military action,” he said.



A refuge in Okombahe

According to ||Aribeb, the emergence of the Okombahe Native Reserve is of major historical significance for the Damara and represented the first territory they freely perceive as exclusively theirs.

He quotes researches who wrote that Rhenish missionaries addressed the landlessness of the Damara by assembling them around mission stations, including at Rehoboth, Otjimbingwe, Omaruru, Okombahe, Tsumamas and Gaub.

“It is through these missionary mediations that the Ovaherero chiefs of the Tjiseseta dynasty consented to the granting of a free area in the Okombahe reserve for the exclusive use of the Damara people,” he said.

||Aribeb said this allowed the Damara an opportunity to embark on a fairly prosperous and self-reliant existence.



Khorixas stereotype

He added that after the Odendaal Plan came into operation, during the South African colonial administration, portions of the current Kunene Region and virtually all communal land in the current Erongo Region, with the exemption of Omatjete and Otjimbingwe reserves, became Damaraland.

According to ||Aribeb this restored some measure of dignity, especially to generational farmworkers who saw an opportunity for economic and social freedom.

He, however, added there are many Damara outside this homeland, with no form of affinity to it and Khorixas in particular.



/Khomanin move from Khomas

||Aribeb added that in 1914 the German colonial administration allocated farms Furstenwalde and Augeigas to the Damara people of the /Khomanin tribe.

However, after de-proclamation in 1956, 254 families including about 1 500 people with their 1 780 large and 15 820 small stock were forcibly moved to the extremely arid and drought-prone Sori-Soris in Kunene.

He added the /Khomanin community were plagued by losses after their livestock perished in the persistent Kunene drought and therefore returned to camp in corridors in the Khomas Region.

Some of these people have been resettled, while a splinter community still demand access to their ancestral land.

Similar News

 

Otuntila omolwa omukithi gwendambi

4 days ago - 15 February 2019 | Agriculture

Omulumentu gwoomvula 22 a za momukunda Omayuuda momudhingoloko Ogongo moshitopolwa shaMusati okuli ta mono uunamiti konima sho a lumatwa kondoongi.Oshikondo shuundjolowele wiimuna shoDirectorate of...

Epukiro farmers encouraged by good rains

5 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Agriculture

Heavy rains that fell in many parts of Epukiro constituency, which forms part of the drought-stricken Omaheke Region, have given farmers renewed hopes.In various interviews...

Labour biggest cost for farmers

6 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Agriculture

Labour is the biggest cost factor on commercial farms, as it constitutes 22% of total expenses. This is according to an Agricultural Employers Association (AEA)...

Iikumungu yaaniilonga tayi pula unene moondjato dhaanafaalama

6 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT Iifuta yaaniilonga oyi li shimwe shomiinima mbyoka hayi pula oshimaliwa oshindji okuza moondjato dhaanafaalama.Shoka osha hololwa kuuyelele wa gandjwa moAgricultural Employers Association (AEA)...

Producers plead for Harambee

1 week ago - 12 February 2019 | Agriculture

The current drought situation in the country was high on the agenda of the Agronomic Producers' Association (APA) when its management met last week in...

Farmers in 'terrible situation'

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Agriculture

The United People's Movement (UPM) has expressed concern over the severe drought, saying that it should be declared a national disaster. The vice-president of the...

Technology drives disease control

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Agriculture

In order to facilitate the collection of specimens and the reporting of animal diseases, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is currently upgrading its...

Farmers in dire straits

2 weeks ago - 05 February 2019 | Agriculture

An emergency action plan has been compiled to reduce the impact of the ongoing drought in Namibia, which is already a “national crisis”.The Namibia Agricultural...

Billion-dollar agri project to enhance food security

2 weeks ago - 05 February 2019 | Agriculture

The agriculture ministry, through its envisioned N$1.4 billion Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed System Improvement Project (NAMSIP), aims to make a significant contribution to the country's...

FMD contingency plans in spotlight

2 weeks ago - 05 February 2019 | Agriculture

The Meat Board of Namibia has initiated the revision of foot-and mouth-disease (FMD) contingency plans, in an effort to create a more conducive environment for...

Latest News

Ondangwa creates 'home' for illegal...

17 hours ago | Government

ONDANGWA – The Ondangwa Town Council plans to relocate over 100 illegal settlers from Uutala to the Onantsi area, where it recently serviced 120 plots.Uutala...

Gold at two-week high on...

17 hours ago | Business

Gold prices rose to their strongest level in more than two weeks yesterday as the US dollar weakened on hopes the United States and China...

Noordoewer seeking status as a...

17 hours ago | Government

NOORDOEWER – The councillor of the Karasburg West Constituency, Paulus Ephraim, has urged government to consider proclaiming the settlement of Noordoewer a town as the...

No retrenchments at ODC, NDC

17 hours ago | Government

The head of the newly established Namibia Industrialisation Development Agency (NIDA), Uparura Kuvare, says no staff members of the former Offshore Development Company (ODC) and...

Drought fear looms large

17 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT Namibia faces a 150 000-tonne grain shortfall by the end of April this year, as...

Two in court after record...

17 hours ago | Justice

ILENI NANDJATO Northern businessmen Paavo Hatutale (47) and co-accused Nicodemus Shekunyenge (21) appeared before the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with...

No limits for Doeseb

17 hours ago | People

Michelline Nawatises Axali Doeseb has been playing ice hockey since 2003.Every day after school he would jump the Tagesheim aftercare centre’s fence to watch...

The weight of expectation

17 hours ago | Columns

A huge weight of expectation will undoubtedly rest on political leaders vying for office later this year. While there is a sense that the current...

The lack of sexual ideology...

17 hours ago | Columns

Justicia Shipena Not only does thinking about sex matter, it matters more to humanity than sex in itself. There are many instances of the...

Load More